Cristiano Ronaldo wants out of Man Utd primarily through fear of losing an individual record, and one figure who claims to have been in regular contact with the striker has revealed the inside track on his future.
The 37-year-old legend wants out of Manchester United this summer. Ronaldo made the club aware of his exit desire in early-July and two reasons behind his stance were widely reported.
Firstly, Ronaldo reportedly harbours reservations as to the ambition at the club. United are struggling to push a Frenkie de Jong deal over the line and Ronaldo doesn’t believe those around him are of the standard required to win trophies.
Secondly, he wants to play in the Champions League, a competition he has won five times and is the record goalscorer in.
Now, Spanish outlet Sport add a new take to that second line, claiming Ronaldo is fearful his individual goals record will be taken by Lionel Messi.
Ronaldo currently tops the UCL scoring charts with 141. Messi is second with 125, though the Argentine will be competing in the tournament next year with PSG.
Messi could erase the deficit with a pair of strong campaigns over the next few years and Sport claim Ronaldo ‘above all’ other reasons does not want to be caught by his great rival.
Ronaldo will not play Champions League football this season if he remains at Manchester United. And according to Piers Morgan, Ronaldo has pulled on a United shirt for the last time.
Speaking to talkSPORT, the high profile public figure insisted he’s been in regular contact with Ronaldo over the last week. The pair previously came together to contribute towards an interview for ITV.
Ronaldo thought process explained
Morgan thinks Ronaldo’s time at Old Trafford is up and explained the thought processes running through the striker’s mind.
“I’ve had quite a lot of contact with him in the last week,” said Morgan. “I certainly think that it will be highly unlikely, put it that way, if Cristiano Ronaldo plays another game for Manchester United. I think mentally he has just moved on.
“Each week you ask me to break my confidence. Each week I tell you I am not going to do it. Yet I admire this skilful journalistic enterprise so I’m not going to say what we said to each other.
“But I just feel, like I said to you from the start of this process, I don’t think Cristiano Ronaldo feels that Manchester United share his ambition. That’s what I feel.
“I think he feels that the signings they are making, the commitment they showed last season, where they finished up, the lack of Champions League football… If you’re him and you’re heading towards the end of your career, and you still want to win major trophies, you’ve got to make one calculation: am I going to do it if I stay at United?
“And I just don’t think he feels the club’s structure, from the club down, is right. It is not a reflection on the new manager [Erik ten Hag], I think he has a lot of respect for him. I just think it’s an accurate reflection of where United are right now.
“It’s for him to say what he feels. If you’re asking me what I feel, I do not think he is going to stay at Manchester United. I do [think he’s going to leave] and I think he might end up somewhere quite surprising.”
Exit wish a blessing in disguise?
Man Utd’s pre-season exploits have offered an early hint at what a post-Ronaldo United could look like.
The trio of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Jadon Sancho have all notched at least twice in just three pre-season outings.
But more importantly is the way in which they are taking Erik ten Hag’s demands on board. Indeed, the trio are causing opposition defences all manner of problems with their high intensity press – something Bruno Fernandes has been pleased to see.
At 37, Ronaldo’s days of hustling and harrying opposition defences are gone. While those Ten Hag is currently playing lack Ronaldo’s experience and clinical edge, the overall balance of the team already looks far better.
If Ronaldo does find a suitor that can satisfy his UCL cravings, United would be wise to sever ties.